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Santurantikuy in Cusco 2021

This is a fairly important fair that takes place in the city of Cusco in the month of December, specifically on the 24th of that month in the Plaza de Armas of the City. It is a fair that brings together many important artisans in the area and in which exhibitions of their artisan products are held, this day the so-called “Hierberas” also come out at the fairs that come from different parts of Cusco to present different herbs brought each of its areas and used to decorate the nativity scenes and mangers.

The name given to this fair is not arbitrary since its translation into Spanish means “Sale of Saints” and it is in itself different statuettes or carvings of Saints that are offered for sale at the Cusco fair. All or a large part of them are intended to serve as decorations for important Christmas nativity scenes.

The Santurantikuy in Cusco is quite an event and since before dawn the artisans’ stalls are set up in the Plaza de Armas, among the handicrafts, in addition to the beautiful sculptural pieces you can find different embroidery and fabrics.

The most representative image of this day of the fair is undoubtedly the so-called Niño Manuelito, which is the name by which the Child Jesus is known and which is made of ceramic of different sizes and in different positions, being the most requested the one in which he is found with open arms and dressed in beautiful robes and crowns.

It is important to observe in these fairs the shape of many of the stalls that follow Andean traditions when they are “raised” on the ground, where a blanket is spread where all the statuettes are carefully placed. Whoever visits these fairs, will also be able to find beautiful Cusco altarpieces.

It is also not surprising that for the purpose of these celebrations there are different exhibitions and sale of exquisite dishes from the area, among those who visit them will be able to find delicious punches to warm up the body. Among the fair’s crafts it is not surprising to also find different toys, such as cars or trucks.

History

This event had its heyday during the 17th century, when colonial society and economy enjoyed a certain stability, guaranteed by an important flow of resources and by the spiritual power established by the church.

The workshops used to be commissioned by Creoles or Spaniards raised and trained in America. Many of them were in charge of altars and constructions. However, as a result of the 1650 earthquake that struck Cusco, Creole painters emerged. At that time, the initiative arose to search for local artisans, some of them indigenous as well as others belonging to the Cusco aristocracy who gave a personal and aesthetic interpretive application to Christian elements. Some of these painters and sculptors were Diego Quispe Tito, Antonio Sinchi Roca, Martín Torres, Basilio Santa Cruz and others.

Cultural Heritage of the Nation

The Santurantikuy traditional fair in Cusco was proclaimed Cultural Heritage of the Peruvian Nation on September 22, 2009, for being one of the most representative cultural expressions of Catholicism in the Andean region of Peru. The Santurantikuy popular art fair is organized by the Municipal Company of Celebrations of Cusco, giving it an order and functionality with marked and delimited spaces. Without a doubt it is one of the most recognized Christmas festivals in Peru.

What is Santurantikuy?

This event brings together around 500 artisans, who, coming from different parts of Cusco and other regions of the country, exhibit their creative work throughout the year, which will decorate the births of homes and institutions. This traditional popular art fair brings together artists and artisans, mainly from the San Blas neighborhood.

El Niño Manuelito is the central character of the Christmas party in Cusco. The city has a festive atmosphere with the arrangement of the balconies of the Monumental Center, with lights, garlands and Christmas motifs. The image of the child Manuelito is venerated every year during the Christmas holidays as the central image. Around him a stage is performed, called Mystery, it is a staging at the fair. The image of the boy Manuelito has different attitudes, his body seems to have Indian skin and he keeps his arms open as a sign of welcome. They create them with diverse faces and sculpt them thoughtfully, crawling or standing upright. Silver ornaments and dresses to put on the image are sold every New Year.

What is the Santuranticuy Festival in Perú?

This event brings together around 500 artisans, who, coming from different parts of Cusco and other regions of the country, exhibit their creative work throughout the year, which will decorate the births of homes and institutions. This traditional popular art fair brings together artists and artisans, mainly from the San Blas neighborhood.

El Niño Manuelito is the central character of the Christmas party in Cusco. The city has a festive atmosphere with the arrangement of the balconies of the Monumental Center, with lights, garlands and Christmas motifs. The image of the child Manuelito is venerated every year during the Christmas holidays as the central image. Around him a stage is performed, called Mystery, it is a staging at the fair. The image of the boy Manuelito has different attitudes, his body seems to have Indian skin and he keeps his arms open as a sign of welcome. They create them with diverse faces and sculpt them thoughtfully, crawling or standing upright. Silver ornaments and dresses to put on the image are sold every New Year.

What else is appreciated in Santurantikuy?

Various types of objects are seen in the artisan fair such as pieces of wood, plaster, metal, ceramics and altarpieces. You can see various kinds of miniatures and tiny metal objects. Passersby can take the traditional punches while they admire the objects. The clay images to decorate the nativity scenes that are put together in the houses are brought from various towns in Cusco. Cooked clay crafts are sold that are brought from Pukará, where the bull stands out.

The interesting thing is the worldview in the presence of the objects, for example in the mangers, you can see llamas, cows, donkeys, sheep, alpacas, the Peruvian dog or animals of the Andes that make up the scene of birth. The wise men, virgins, San José and angels are seen in this great fair.

In Santurantikuy typical party sweets are sold, artisan sweets, cotton candy, chicha de jora, Andean bread (muffin and guaguas) and at night in Cusco hot punch is sold. In the afternoon, the smell of chicharrón and part of the Cusco food floods the streets. There are many restaurants in Cusco and picanterías where one can taste a delicious meal.

Currently, the Santuranticuy Festival in Perú is organized by the Empresa Municipal de Festejos del Cusco, EMUFEC S.A., giving it an ordering and functional sense with spaces duly marked and delimited by specialties, these being:

  • Decorative Ceramic
  • Imagery
  • Wood and tree bark works
  • Miniatures and watermarks
  • Artistic Cerería
  • High Relief
  • Silverware
  • Works in Piedrav * Works in leather
  • Sculpture
  • Paintings from the Cusco School
  • Manuelitos Children
  • Works in Dry Flowers.

Touring Cusco is discovering endless mysterious places, with hidden stories in corners that you may have never seen before stepping on this country. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Perú, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.

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